April 22, 2015

Birds of North America by PQMQ. Workshop

I am excited to finally announce an album that I've been working on for over a year now. It was made with field recordings of bird sounds and analog synthesizers. I'm delighted with how it all turned out. My fellow members of the PQMQ. Workshop really delivered. And I've also realized a life long dream of making a song with Leigh Nash (Sixpence None the Richer). Stay tuned for more details!

April 16, 2015

Mini Electronic Music Library

I have a little collection of electronic music books I keep in my studio. I thought it would be nice to post a picture of them here. 

In other news; tomorrow I'm off to the Midwest Analog Synthesizer Meet Up with David, Jon and Andrew. This is my second year going. Kind of excited, I think I'm going to take a few modules with me. Stay tuned for a full report!

April 15, 2015

Roland System-500

Well, it's finally happened! Roland is making actual analog synthesizer modules. They are eurorack size and will supposedly be released this summer for around $300 each. Most of them are double modules (two VCOs two filters, two ENV). They sort of look like a hybrid between the System 100m and System 700. These are being made in collaboration with the Malekko company and you can see the small Malekko "M" logo on the bottom of the modules. 

My first thought was that I was a little bummed that there was no pre delay on the LFO part of the phaser module. That very natural singing sound of delayed vibrato has been a staple of almost of all of Roland's vintage gear (including the System 100m).  But it looks like that feature does exist in the System-500 - buried in the middle of the Envelope module. My only other complaint is that the high pass filter is just a switch of three different modes. Would have been nice to have it's own dedicated slider or knob for full control. 

All in all I'm pretty thrilled about these. Welcome back Roland!

Here is Roland's official statement: 

"Roland is also pleased to announce the development of the System-500, an all-new, fully analogue modular synthesizer based on two of the most revered electronic instruments of all time - the System-700 and System-100m. Designed exclusively for Eurorack, the System-500 delivers classic Roland sound with all the advantages and reliability of a modern instrument."

April 9, 2015

Il Guardiano Del Faro

It's been ages since I've found any new (new to me!) music that I've enjoyed. This stuff is really hitting the spot!

April 3, 2015

BBC4's Britain On Film, Featuring Daphne Oram

Here's a great little feature of Daphne Oram in her home. Colorized too!

March 29, 2015

And One More Thing About the Roland CSQ-600...

This is just a fun little tip, but if you're having trouble playing a line by hand (maybe it's just a little too complicated for your intermediate keyboarding skills), you can program the notes into a CSQ sequencer and then all you have to worry about it playing the gate, and not the notes. You could do this by hooking your keyboard gate output to the CSQ step input and then just hit the keys in whatever rhythm you like. Or just press the forward step button on the CSQ. I guess this is an electronic music studio "life hack".

March 28, 2015

Sonic Maps

Years ago when I started Mild Slopes I felt like there weren't any blogs about old fashion (or, shall we say classic?) electronic music that also had much of a personal touch. They all seemed like they were written by computer programs - characterless explanations of gear, links to auctions, or just pages and pages of photos. I thought it would be nice to add a human element to the thing. Well, I'm happy to say that there is now one other that I know of. Sonic Maps definitely has my vote for the best new blog award. I actually think of Sonic Maps as a sort of sister blog to Mild Slopes. But make no mistake, it is not just more of the same. Sonic Maps has a personality and spirit that is all it's own! 

So check it out for yourself, subscribe! It is frequently updated and delightful: